Moffat County hockey wins season opener
Craig — Penalties can make or break a hockey club during the course of a game, placing pressure on the guilty team.
The Bulldogs racked up 13 of the blemishes against visiting Kremmling on Friday.
One would think Moffat County suffered from their penalty woes, but the Bulldogs performed better down a man against the Cattle Kings, rather than at full strength.
Moffat County scored two short-handed goals in the third period, pushing aside Kremmling to seal a season opening 3-0 victory at the Moffat County Ice Arena.
“The team played hard the whole game,” head coach Jim Hall said. “The last few minutes, the boys really stepped it up.”
Joel Pomeroy putted the Bulldogs on the board early, scoring the team’s first league goal of the season, on a smooth assist from Scott Smith.
“I got a nice pass from Scott and just put it in the net.” Pomeroy said. “We need to keep this up. My goal is the playoffs.”
Moffat County then went on the defensive.
Behind the stellar play of goalie Bryce Ponikvar, the Cattle Kings were shut out, and out-shot, 26-11.
“Every game, I try for the shutout,” Ponikvar said. “In practice, I work on everything. I try to stop every shot.”
Kremmling had many advantages, considering how often they were on the power play, but the Cattle Kings couldn’t break through the defense of the Bulldogs.
The last five minutes of the contest was played with Kremmling having a five-on-four advantage.
The Bulldogs played like they had a 10-to-five advantage, scoring twice while the Cattle Kings had the extra attacker, ending Kremmling’s hopes of a comeback.
Jacob Barron scored with 4:57 remaining, for a 2-0 lead, and Scott Smith earned his second point of the evening, depositing the puck past the Cattle Kings goalie for his first score of the season.
“I skated my heart out tonight,” Smith said. “I wanted that goal really bad. We have to keep it up all year.”
Coach Hall was happy with his team’s opening night performance, but he hinted that the year is still early.
“This is just the season opener,” he said. “We can definitely improve.”
The Bulldogs played a double-header Friday. Because of late scheduling, the result of the second game will be available in Monday’s edition of the Craig Daily Press.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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